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T5HO Canopy

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by shane, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have (3) T5HO 39 Watt lights in a 9.75" wide wood canopy. The tank is about 18" wide (60 gallon planted discus tank).

    Currently, I place the canopy directly on top of the tank centered. The problem with this is there are quite a few dark spots in the tank. Especially in the front top quadrant of the tank. Being that I have discus they seem to spend alot of their time in this quadrant of the tank.

    I was thinking of lifting the entire canopy 4-6 inches above the tank via some steel wire and hardware. Perhaps even have the canopy adjustable height wise. That way I can dial in what is best in terms of light spread.

    I have been playing around with this by adding some wood on each side of the tank (between the top of the tank and canopy). One thing I have noticed is the light spread not only around the tank nicely but also around the entire room. The light spreading around the room is not a feature in my case.

    Anybody have any experience with this? Any suggestions?
     
  2. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Simple Canopy - The blocks in the corners and centre rear rest on the tank. The front (at the top) is a flap on hinges.
    [​IMG]

    In situ:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The same hood, now modded into a luminaire using chain, S hooks, and tool shed hooks (into the shelf suports above)
    [​IMG]

    The original design for the hood was 6 pieces of wood I had a local wood merchant precut for me (front, rear, left side, right side, 2/3 fixed top panel, 1/3 front flap) Then 2 inch screws and 3 hinges.

    AC
     
  3. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for the pics and your setup. If you sit in the chair, does the light blind you at all?
     
  4. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for the pics and your setup. If you sit in the chair, does the light blind you at all?
     
  5. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Not any more as it is LED and not so noticeable from the side:
    [​IMG]

    I tend to sit in the chair at the end of the table right next to the tank but I don't slouch. lol

    AC
     
  6. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Wow, nice setup. How do you like the LED's? How do you plants like the LED's? I am trying to find an elegant way of reducing the light spreading too much into the room the tank is in. When I sit in a chair it can be blinding.
     
  7. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    How high have you been placing your lights off the tank? I was thinking about 6"?

    I have a 60 gallon (36" by 18" by 20") tank. I have (3) T5HO lights (I only use (2) right now).
     
  8. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    In the picture where you can see the 'luminaire' above the tank on the chains it is still T5 and is about 4" above the waterline (125Ltr tank)

    With the LEDs being much brighter for less wattage the luiminaire is now about 12" above the waterline!!!

    The LEDs look great and are much brighter than fluoros even though I haven't used collimators or lenses. Even though the 'luminaire' is much higher than when it had fluoros The plants have gone a little mad!!!

    The strange thing (that doesn't solve your problem) is that theLEDs don't blind you unless you look directly at them, whereas the fluoros always do??? However the fluoros (with reflectors) put less light outside of the tank whereas the LEDs give off a lot of light through the spaces. Collimators would've focused them more downward but I didn't want to risk seeing beems of light in the water column. I wanted it to look even.

    When the 'luminiare' was a hood with the water level above the bottom level of the hood you can see there was less light entering the room. However you need to make sure the rear panel is a not as 'tall' as the front so that you don't see some wood at the rear through the water :) The sides can be the same as the front because you don't see through the sides when looking from the front.

    I think if you are sticking to the fluoros and don't want glare then you must stay with an enclosed hood. Then if you don't want light to fill the room then you can make the hood to the height that you want the lights to be from the water surface!!!

    I have seen some hoods that are a foot tall and whilst they look a little funny they suit the aim of the user that built them.

    AC

    AC
     
  9. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well, I have the new DIY 3 by 39 Watt T5HO setup finished. I have the canopy hanging from the ceiling. The bulbs are now about 11 inches above the water surface. I run 2 bulbs for 10 hours per day and an additional bulb for 4 hours per day.

    I also increased my CO2 bubble rate from 1.5bps to almost 3bps. I will keep it there for a while and see what happens. I also cleaned out the Eheim filter that powers the AM1000 reactor; a much better flow rate now.

    I guess I will find out if the light is too much in a few weeks if more BBA pops up.
     
  10. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    pictures please ;)

    How is the glare and how is the light escaping into the room.

    AC
     
  11. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    In order to help with the glare and light spread in the room, I went to Office Depot and bought one of those tri-fold presentation poster boards. I use this board on the front edge of the canopy. It hangs down about 3". The board happened to be 3 feet long (which happens to be the tank length). The poster board is actually quite thick (maybe 1/4") so no light can pass through it.

    Without it, the light spread is way too much throughout the room. When sitting down, the light can be blinding when looking at the tank.

    I'll try to post some pics of the tank and setup. I need to learn some basics on how to shoot aquariums.
     
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